Named after the most common type of Rudraksh seed, the rhythmic basis for this song is a typical rhythm for devotional songs or "bhajans", having been slightly altered to be played in a medium-fast 5 beat cycle.
This song began as a bassline inspired by the clarinet playing of Turkish / Bulgarian musician Yuri Yukanov. It is in a medium-fast 9 beat cycle.
Inspired by one of our favorite world rhythms and styles of music, this song is our adaptation of the music played for a Bulgarian wedding dance called Gankino Horo (tr. Ganka's Dance). This incredible circle dance and the music that accompanies it takes place in a blistering 11 beat cycle, divided 2+2+3+2+2 (which can also be thought of as 4+3+4, or 7+4). This dance is no small feat, especially factoring in any degree of inebriation, which if attempted by most other dancers unfamiliar with odd rhythms would surely result in a hilarious calamity, as it likely will for us when we try to play it.
The title of this song is a reference to our feelings about Music, especially the music of all the great artists who have inspired us along the way. The first part of this song is our homage to a song by one of our favorite groups, Remember Shakti, called "Five in the Morning, Six in the Afternoon". It is in a medium tempo 11 beat cycle, divided 8+3. For the second part of the song, we revamped the rhythmic structure into a 14 beat cycle, divided 8+6. This can also be played as two 8 beat phrases with the second phrase being played at one-and-a-half times the speed of the first phrase, without losing the feel of the original groove.
At the Feet of the Masters:
This song is based on rhythms taught to us by one of our favorite tabla maestros, "Taalyogi" Pandit Suresh Talwalkar. Pandit Suresh ji is especially known for his "layakari", which is a special kind of rhythmic control and one of our favorite aspects of classical Indian rhythm. While we offer no complicated layakari in this piece, the beautiful patterns we will attempt to play are based on what he taught to a group of Indian classical and western musicians alike. The rhythmic cycle is a Carnatic or South-Indian cycle of 8 beats called Adi Thalam, played in Tisram or with each beat having 3 subdivisions. These subdivisions are then grouped in phrases of unequal length, namely combinations of 5 and 7. The piece ends with a series of tihai, the final tihai being transcribed from our lesson with Pt. Suresh ji.
This is a longer piece based on the rhythmic cycle of Jhaptaal, a slower ten beat cycle divided 2+3+2+3. The piece also uses a background melody loop, called a lehra or lehera, which is typically played by an accompanist during tabla solos. While the melody of that particular lehra, and also the melodic content of the instrumental playing is based on the notes found in Raag Hamsadhwani, we want to be clear that this is not meant as a representation of an actual Raga in any way. The piece is split into the following parts, which are subject to addition and change:
Part One: Bass "Alap" (unaccompanied bass intro followed by bass accompanied by the lehra)
Part Two: Tabla Solo, Peshkar and Kaida
Part Three: Bass Solo with tabla accompaniment
Part Four: Kaida played on bass and tabla - ends with series of tihai.
Part Five: Mini Laggi
Part Six: Rela with call and response
Part Seven: Final tihai